Each year, the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA), Washington, awards industry leaders for their contributions to the organization and to the solid waste industry through induction into the EIA Hall of Fame and the issuance of Special Trustee Awards.
The individuals entering the EIA Hall of Fame have been actively engaged in solid waste for at least 25 years. The inductees have made significant contributions to the industry in at least one of the following ways: creating innovations in manufacturing and equipment/product design, establishing novel methods of marketing and conducting business, building better employer-employee and community relations, ensuring safer operations, developing industry standards, protecting the environment, engaging in the legislative and regulatory processes, and participating in at least one of the EIA's sub-associations — the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) or the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC), both of which are based in Washington. Hall of Fame inductees also are leaders in their communities.
At WasteExpo 2007, Fred Van Arsdale of McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing Inc. (posthumously), Robert Rasmussen of Wastequip Inc. and Dean Buntrock of Waste Management Inc. will be inducted into the EIA Hall of Fame.
The Special Trustee Awards are given to individuals who have served on the EIA Board of Trustees. This year, Richard Van Hattem of Allied Waste Industries and Mickey Flood of IESI Corp. will be honored for their Board of Trustees service.
Fred Van Arsdale
Fred Van Arsdale joined Heil Environmental Industries in 1979 as the firm's transfer station production manager and later became the national accounts manager. In 1998, he moved on to work for McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing Inc. as the national accounts representative for Republic Services Inc., a job he held until his death in June 2006.
At Heil, Van Arsdale expanded the sales focus from municipal customers to rapidly growing private companies such as USA Waste, Waste Management and Allied Waste Industries. He helped to develop the half-pack front-loader and a turnkey system for transfer stations. He was an innovator of safety features on trucks, a mentor to young colleagues just learning the ropes and was well-respected and widely recognized in the industry. In addition, Van Arsdale was a supporter of youth sports and a center serving disabled adults.
Jim Johnson, president of Autocar LLC, says, “Fred Van Arsdale sold his products the old fashioned way. While others were worried about building a book of business, Fred focused on building relations. He understood that a relationship built on honesty and trust was just as important as the quality of the equipment he sold.”
Jerry Wicket, vice president of purchasing and maintenance for Republic Services adds, “One of Fred's strongest attributes as a salesman was that he represented the customer well back at his company.”
“My husband was loyal to a fault,” says Marilyn Van Arsdale. “He treated people in the same way that he wanted them to treat him. He never expected people to do more than they were capable, but he expected high things from everyone, including himself.”
In 1959, Robert Rasmussen became a draftsman for an incinerator business. He began manufacturing containers and compactors 10 years later, and, in 1973, he started his own company, Accurate Industries, which he sold to Wastequip in 1992. In 2001, Rasmussen became president and CEO of Wastequip, manufacturing a wide variety of waste industry products. Since then, he has increased company productivity by 50 percent.
During his career, he has been instrumental in developing intermodal containers to transport sludge and solid waste by rail. He currently serves on WASTEC's Board of Governors, where he has helped establish compactor ratings and safety standards. Rasmussen was twice named CEO of the Year by Wastequip's parent companies — in 2003 by the CIVC Investment Group and in 2006 by the DLJ Private Equity Group. Rasmussen is a volunteer youth coach and supporter of safety films for children.
“Developing people is the most important aspect of business success and, ultimately, personal success,” Rasmussen says. “You have to be humble because the whole team is what makes the difference.”
Dean Buntrock began his waste industry career in 1956 at Ace Scavenger Service, his family's business. In 1968, he, along with Wayne Huizenga and Larry Beck, combined their companies to form Waste Management Inc. (WMI). At the time, the firm had annual revenues of $5 million. In 1971, with Buntrock as the chairman and CEO, WMI went public. By the 1980s, WMI's revenue was $800 million, and by the mid-1990s, revenue was more than $10 billion, and the company was operating in 21 countries. At one point, Buntrock was named Outstanding CEO in the Pollution Control Industry by Financial World Magazine and Wall Street Transcript. In 1997, he retired.
He is a founder of the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), serving as its first president in the mid-1960s and remaining its secretary/treasurer and director for 20 years. Buntrock's community service includes supporting the arts by serving on the boards of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Terra Foundation, and education by serving on the Board of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. He also has supported the environment by sponsoring wetlands through Ducks Unlimited and the National Wildlife Association.
“I love business and found an industry where I couldn't wait to go to work in the morning,” Buntrock says. “Work is hard so you need to find a career where you can always enjoy your job and make the best use of your talents and that you really enjoy. To be included in the Hall of Fame is very special and gratifying.”
With more than 35 years in the solid waste industry, Mickey Flood now is the president and CEO of IESI Corp., a company he founded in 1995. He also is the president and a trustee of BFI Canada Income Fund, IESI's parent company. Before creating IESI, he served in the following positions over the course of his career: one of seven group presidents for Waste Management; president of U.S. operations for Laidlaw Waste Systems; president of North America for GSX Corp.; and regional vice president of SCA Services. Flood recently stepped down as chairman of EIA's Board of Trustees after a four-year term during which he enhanced the safety program, increased membership, helped start the New York City Chapter, and emphasized the importance of education and the industry's image.
“I knew how important the legislative process was to the growth of my company and the role of a trade association in the lobbying effort, so I became active,” Flood says. “Perhaps my greatest contribution was ensuring that EIA's Board of Trustees operate for the good of the industry and all of the industry's employees.”
Richard Van Hattem
In 1972, Richard Van Hattem started his own garbage business, National Scavenger Service. Twenty years later, he, Roger Ramsey and Tom Van Weelden merged their companies to establish Allied Waste Industries. From 1992 to July 2006, when he retired, Van Hattem helped build Allied Waste into the second largest waste company in the United States. He held a variety of positions at the company, including regional vice president for the central states, vice president of corporate services, vice president of operations and vice president of governmental affairs.
Van Hattem also served on EIA's Board of Trustees for about 10 years as Allied's representative. During that time, he played a critical role by addressing federal legislative issues, specifically interstate waste movement, and worked closely with association staff as EIA's Treasurer. In addition to spending time improving his golf game, Van Hattem now is on the board of several non-profit organizations and is active in his church.
“Do the right thing! I can look back at my career having operated ethically,” Van Hattem says. “It was exciting forming Allied Waste's operating platform as we acquired companies. In retirement, I find a high level of satisfaction in volunteer work.”
Alice Jacobsohn is director of public affairs and education at the Environmental Industry Associations. Contact her at email@example.com.
The EIA will induct its 2007 Hall of Fame class and honor other award winners, including the recipients of the Special Trustee Awards, at the organization's Inspirational & Awards Breakfast, which will be held on Tuesday, May 8, from 7:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Thomas Murphy Ballroom in the Georgia World Congress Center. The cost of the breakfast is $35.